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When Marilyn Monroe sang that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, she crooned, “But square-cut or pear-shaped, these rocks don’t lose their shape.” While her love of diamonds seemed universal, you may have many questions. For example, what are the most popular diamond shapes? Are there advantages to choosing one shape over another? What do their names mean and what is the best diamond for me and the person I love? We’re here to demystify diamonds for you and help you fully prepare to choose the right one.
Finding the Right Diamond
If you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring, you may already know that the 4Cs—cut, color, clarity, and carat—are important in selecting the right diamond. But did you know that a diamond’s shape is not the same thing as the diamond’s cut? “Shape” refers to the geometric appearance of the diamond, while “cut” affects how it sparkles and reflects light. This is why the right shape and cut are every bit as important to finding the right ring.
Understanding the most popular diamond shapes can then help you determine the right cut and find irregularities in the diamond.
An oval cut diamond, a more modern style of shape, is bold, contemporary, and brilliant. Because the cut makes them visually large, they tend to slenderize a finger. They look particularly attractive in wide rings, and because of their brilliance and contemporary flair are a favorite among women who are daring, bold, and love to stand apart.
When looking for the right oval cut diamond, make sure each section is symmetrical to the others for the most graceful appearance. Oval cut diamonds are known by jewelers to have “heads,” which refer to the rounded ends of the shape. They also have shoulders and a flat belly with a “bowtie,” or hourglass-shaped shadow, in the center. Look carefully for the bowtie shape, which will be more or less distinct depending on the quality of the cut. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re having a hard time detecting this aspect of the diamond.
While most oval cut diamonds are moderately priced, the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction just happened to be an oval cut diamond. The Pink Star, a 59.6k pink oval cut diamond, sold for a little over $70 million.
The princess cut diamond is just as the name sounds: it’s dainty, it’s feminine, and it’s also incredibly contemporary. It’s the second most popular diamond shape in the United States, accounting for just over 21 percent of all diamond sales annually.
Just because it’s a common style doesn’t make it any less special. The princess cut, which is shaped like inverted pyramids with beveled sides, allows it to claim the title of the most brilliant among square and rectangular diamonds.
This stylish, delicate cut is perfect for a trendy woman. The cut creates outstanding light dispersion, and because they cost less per carat than round brilliants, they are more affordable than other fancy cuts. This style of cut also conceals small inclusions and shadows. Because of this, a slightly lower-grade diamond can be purchased without sacrificing its brilliance. The intense sparkle of a princess cut diamond is captivating and looks good in nearly every setting.
The vintage art deco-style look of an emerald cut diamond is highly sophisticated and offers an air of old-world glamour. This style of diamond, which has a rectangular shape with carefully measured steps cut into their sides, is cut to create a mirror-like quality that reflects flashes of light. Because it is designed to be elegant with perfect symmetry, its soft sheen is what makes it so beautiful, rather than its brilliance.
The Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Beyoncé, and other celebrities have proudly worn emerald cut engagement rings. And why wouldn’t they? They are known for being large, albeit more affordable than other options, and because of their size, clarity of the diamond makes it a highly sophisticated jewel.
Because these diamonds demand clarity, if you’re interested in an emerald cut, make sure it is free of inclusions. Emerald cut diamonds can be colorless or offer shades of yellow, but they must be graded VVS2 or higher for clarity. The perfect ring may offer a diamond that stands alone, or it may be complemented by baguettes or a halo of smaller diamonds.
The pear cut diamond, which is shaped like a teardrop, is elegant, delicate, and flirty. This beautiful shape offers distinct brilliance with a fashion-forward shape that is prized for its exquisite beauty. The pear cut has more facets than other styles of cuts, which greatly increases their brilliance. Because of the cut, this diamond is higher in price than most others. But because they come in varying shapes and settings, they are also highly accessible.
The pear cut diamond has been a favorite for celebrity engagements, including Mia Farrow, Katherine Heigl, and Victoria Beckham.
Like the oval cut stones, look for a bowtie across the center with minimal shadows to find the highest quality stone. These diamonds stand beautifully on their own or can serve as the center stone in a halo setting.
Ready to put your new diamond shape knowledge to the test? Come explore at one of our annual Holiday Diamond Showcase events: Keller & George on November 6, Schwarzschild Alverser Plaza on November 7, Schwarzschild Cary Court on November 8, or Schwarzschild Short Pump Shopping Center on November 9.